2011 | After Susan Sontag

After Susan Sontag (2011)
Text and interpretation: Sylvie Borel

DV, b/w, 4 min
Edition of 3 +2 AP


'After Susan Sontag' (2011), is an absorbing four minute long black and white film. The title references American writer Sontag who famously wrote On Photography (1977), a series of essays examining the role of photography in modern society, and points to Popa’s interest in the relationship between image, context and viewer.

In Popa's film, a grey-haired woman is viewed from behind, sitting on a chair in a garden. She is facing away from the camera, we are unable to see her face. The enigmatic figure is in fact the photographer Sylvie Borel, who coincidentally resembles Sontag. Borel’s voice describes a photograph, a mother pushing a child on a swing, the setting an eastern European housing estate in winter. The detailed narrative of this tender urban scene (described almost as a painting: background, middle ground, foreground) invites us to visualise the picture in our minds.
(Text by Emma Dean, curator; originally published on Axisweb, a showcase of contemporary art in UK)